What draws one to Roswell, NM? For us it was the UFO Center of North America. We definitely want our photo with little green men. But first, we perused the town to see what else is there. The first thing I noticed while approaching town, was a huge military transport, C-128 (?).. four jets on each wing. Sure enough there is a large Nation Guard base. Farther into town we passed the UFO Center and encountered the very large New Mexico Military Institute that covers at least a six-block square.
Moving on, we decide to check out the Visitors Center and Museum. Beside the “real” scoop on the UFOs, we got our photo taken with a couple of aliens.
We also learned that, although the crash happened in 1947, the Aliens did not appear in the stories until 1974! I rather suspect that if all evidence of the weather balloon crash had not been moved to “Area 57” in Nevada where it became top-secret, there never would have been a stories of little green men.
We also learned that this was the home and workshop of Dr. Goodard, of space travel fame. It was here that he developed his liquid fuelled rockets… to the terror of local cows. His wife was the cinematic recorder of his experiments. After he died, she donated his workshop to the museum, where it has been re-assembled.
Just a few blocks behind the Visitor Center was located a German POW camp. I had no idea that there were any POW camps within the USA.
On the way back through town I had to get a photo of this unusual McDonald’s… shaped like a UFO and sporting a strange reader board.
We planned our two adventure trips around the weather. Since yesterday was to be mild-to-warm, we did outdoor things. Today was to be cool with winds gusting to 50 mph, so we went underground.
However, the sun rose to a very calm morning.
But we decided to go to Carlsbad Caverns anyway, By the time we arrived the wind was indeed 50 mph, making visibility about one mile with the blowing dirt and spattering of rain. So, it was good to get 750 ft. below all the weather.
We opted for the cheap tour… self-guided audio tour. It was a one mile walk around the Great Room.
We had just started the walk when Evelyn encountered this monster with the flaming eyes.
I think that I’ve been in prettier caves, but this beats anything that I’ve seen size. This Great Room would easily accommodate four Boeing 747’s end to end. At one point one could stand a football field on end and not reach the ceiling.
To climb to this upper-most ceiling, they attached a loop of rope to a helium balloon and snagged a stalagmite that was growing on a ledge, slipped the knot tight and sent up the only guy who couldn’t say, “NO!”
I really don’t think that they sent a crashed spaceship to Area 57 though, because we found it in this Great Room, slowly being encased in minerals.
This trek used to be a guided tour and at this point, the guide would turn out all the lights. Then he would start the group singing “Rock of Ages” as a single light was slowly turned on.
This is no longer done… “For safety reasons…” Or maybe this beautiful formation no longer represents the Rock of Ages in the minds of visitors, or the guides no longer know the song!